Above the Clouds

Date: March 2020

Nike Cortez Illustration/Print (personal work), in 40x50cm size.

Officially released during the 1972 Olympics, the Cortez is many things:
the first track shoe of Nike, previously named Blue Ribbon Sport, a shining example of its co-founder — and the University of Oregon’s track coach — Bill Bowerman’s drive to better equipment for runners, and an endearing pop culture icon. Initially planned to be the Aztec, causing troubles with Adidas and their Azteca Gold, Bowerman and his partner Phil Knight renamed the shoe as the well-known “Cortez”, an alleged nod to the conquistador who defeated the aztecs, Hernan Cortes.